A 17-acre plot of land on Jensen Lane continued to be the scene
of controversy last week as the town of Windsor delivered a second
letter to the property owner ordering the piles of eucalyptus logs
to be removed by Dec. 9.
The previous week more than 30 truck loads of eucalyptus logs
were delivered to the property which had been rented from the Ross
family by Eureka timber operator Rick Harding. Harding intended to
buck up the wood into 16-inch lengths, split it, and haul it away
on pallets to be sold in Eureka as firewood.
A letter from the town of Windsor dated Nov. 21 to property
owner Bette Ross of Rohnert Park instructed the Ross’s to
discontinue the operation immediately, as it was not in compliance
with zoning regulations. The property is zoned RS — Surrounding
After reviewing the provisions of the zoning ordinance, town
officials met on Nov. 25 with Mark and Mike Ross, Harding, and
attorneys to discuss the immediate plans for activity on the
Officials learned that Harding intended to hire three employees
who would work on the property eight hours a day through June or
July. They would use a forklift, chain saws and a hydraulic
splitter to process the firewood. The haul route to and from the
property would be Highway 101 to Old Redwood Highway to Hembree
Lane to Jensen Lane.
In the second letter, dated Nov. 26 and signed by Windsor
Planning Director Peter Chamberlin, the town reaffirmed its
position that outdoor storage and firewood production of the scope
intended by Harding was not allowed by the zoning ordinance. The
letter instructed that logs currently on the property be removed by
December 9, 2002.
“We were surprised that they just assumed they could open up a
commercial/industrial site without asking us,” said Chamberlin.
“It’s normal to inquire about the rules before going ahead with
something like this.”
Chamberlin said that, as of Monday, Dec. 2, the town had not
received a response to the Nov. 26 letter.
“We’ve asked them to comply,” he said. “Until we learn
otherwise, I’ll have to assume that they will comply.”
Mark Ross, reached on Tuesday morning, said the town’s decision
is creating difficulty for Harding, the owner of the logs. “He’s
looking south for another location,” said Ross, “but the trucking
is what costs so much money … It’s going to put him in a hole.”
Ross said his family is looking into the possibility of
purchasing the wood from Harding and using it as their personal
firewood supply. He said he does not think the logs will need to be
moved if they are no longer part of a business venture.
“I really don’t think there’s anything they (the town) can do if
it’s a personal venture,” he said. “We’ll have to go see the city
about it … We don’t want to fight with the city.”
Chamberlin said the property will be inspected on Dec. 9 and if
it is not in compliance with the zoning ordinance then enforcement
action will be taken.

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